In recognition of talented horses and the bond shared between horses and humans, 10 equine greats are being inducted into the United States Equestrian Federation/Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame on February 20. Among the 10 are two-time gold medal reining horse Spooks Gotta Whiz and beloved therapeutic riding mount Okies Cash Money.
Spooks Gotta Whiz
The accolades just keep coming for Spooks Gotta Whiz, a 2007 bay overo stallion. Last August, “Baby” topped the world’s best reiners to win a pair of gold medals at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, setting a record-setting WEG reining score in the individual finals along the way.
“I believe he has a destiny,” Michell said in a November 2014 Paint Horse Journal article. “He’s had every challenge any show horse could have, and he just keeps shining. The more he has to deal with, the more pressure he faces, the better he performs. He loves it. Ever since the day he was born, there was something different about him. I feel lucky to have been able to buy him and own him.”
Baby was selected for the Horse Stars Hall of Fame by the USEF in recognition of his athletic prowess on the world stage. Bred by Clint Haverty of Krum, Texas, Baby is owned by Michell Anne Kimball of Encinitas, California; he is by Spooks Gotta Gun and out of Prettywhizprettydoes (QH).
Okies Cash Money
The healing power of horses is a powerful tool, but these four-footed therapists often fly under the radar of recognition. Okies Cash Money, however, is certainly getting the recognition he deserves as the Horse Stars Hall of Fame’s newest inductee. The Equus Foundation selected “Pete” for the honor based on his inspirational and life-changing impact on the humans around him.
A 1997 sorrel tobiano gelding, “Pete” is by Okie Bar King and out of Split Milk Money; he was bred by Hendren Cattle Co. of Chelsea, Oklahoma, and owned by Brianna Cassara of Gilroy, California. In 2009, the gelding was donated to DreamPower Horsemanship, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Gilroy. Overcoming thrush and navicular syndrome in both front feet thanks to a dedicated team of caregivers, Pete has served as a sound, happy therapy horse for seven years.
“Pete participates in equine facilitated psychotherapy sessions, equine facilitated learning programs and therapeutic horsemanship lessons, as well as the summer Camp for Children with Special Needs, Horses for Warriors and Equine Journey Wilderness Program camping trips,” DreamPower Horsemanship Director Martha McNiel said. “Pete is very people-oriented, loving and sweet—he is the official greeter for the barn and always gets the end stall so he can greet visitors when they first arrive at the barn. Pete has his own loyal fan club of volunteers and participants who think he is the best horse ever.”
In 2014, Pete was recognized as the PATH Intl. Equine of the Year. Now, he’ll be part of the Horse Stars Hall of Fame, too. It’s an honor quite befitting of the gelding.
“I am always amazed at his ability to sense what a client needs, and respond in a natural, gentle and touching manner. I have witnessed him magnanimously comfort clients during times of great turmoil and distress as they navigate through difficult emotions and process through traumatic experiences,” said Cherie Page, Ph.D., a psychologist at DreamPower. “This horse has truly found his niche in this world and he is extremely honored for his contribution to the healing of others.”
Ten horses will be inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame for 2015 at the EQUUS Foundation’s Fete Cheval Etoile February 20 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. The Hall of Fame, established by the EQUUS Foundation and USEF in 2013, celebrates the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people. Learn more at equusfoundation.org.
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.